GO fare hike approved

Scarborough residents, already hit by the TTC’s 25-cent fare hike this year, will also have to deal with GO Transit increase on March 20.

The 25-cent GO increase was approved at the Feb. 19 meeting of Metrolinx’s board of director, along with more equal discounting for multiple-rider tickets and passes in all fare zones.

Some riders are upset to hear the news, previously unaware the hike was even proposed.

Shukri Mohamed, a fourth-year University of Toronto Scarborough student who takes the GO train from Ajax to Union station to get to the Scarborough campus, said she was unaware of the fare increase until the Observer asked her for her reaction.

“I think it sucks and I’m pretty mad about it. But I’m only going to have to take it until July so I’m dealing with it. They make it seem like its just 25 cents but my monthly pass went up $14,” said Mohamed.

GO used many outlets including their website, news releases, and public meetings to get the message out to riders, said GO media relations specialist Vanessa Thomas.

The fare increase is in response to the projected operating costs for the 2010 to 2011 fiscal year, Thomas said.

“Our fare increase is in line with increases by other transit agencies,” Thomas said.

GO had to make “tough decisions in a tough economy,” she said.

GO projects customer fares will make up 81 per cent of the 2010-2011 fiscal year budget and provincial subsidies will make up the rest.

In light of the fare hike, service improvements are ongoing and depend on weather conditions, according to Thomas. Last year 5,000 new parking spaces were added to GO train stations, including Rouge Hill.